LED: Making the Right Choice

March 23, 2016

What is LED lighting?  

 

LED stands for Light Emitting Diode, and in lighting applications is the most energy efficient lighting source.  These are semiconductor devices that produce light when an electrical current passes through them.  

 

How is LED lighting different?

 

Before the science of LED hit the lighting industry, incandescents and CFL (compact fluorescent lighting) were the leading energy-efficient lighting solution.  As advancements in LED lighting were made, it quickly became evident that LED was increasingly more efficient than what was previously available on the market.  Lowering utility expenses anywhere from 40-70%, based upon common usage.

 

LEDs are now being integrated into fixtures for general lighting implementations, both for the home, as well on larger industrial applications. LEDs are small and provide unique design opportunities. Some LED bulb solutions may look like familiar light bulbs and some may not.  

 

According to information published by Energy Star, LEDs are “directional” light sources, which means they emit light in a specific direction, unlike incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs, which emit light and heat in all directions. For this reason, LED lighting is able to use light and energy more efficiently in many applications. However, it also means that sophisticated engineering is needed to produce an LED light bulb that shines light all around like an incandescent A-shape bulb.

 

Incandescent bulbs produce light using electricity to heat a metal filament until it becomes “white” hot or is said to incandesce. As a result, incandescent bulbs release 90% of their energy as heat.

 

In a CFL, an electric current flows between electrodes at each end of a tube containing gases. This reaction produces ultraviolet (UV) light and heat. The UV light is transformed into visible light when it strikes a phosphor coating on the inside of the bulb.

 

LED: The Basics

 

LED lighting products have a life-expectancy that far surpasses the life of an Incandescent or a CFL.  LEDs do not typically “burn out.”  Instead, they experience lumen depreciation, where the amount of light produced decreases and the color differs over time. So, the “lifetime” of an LED product is set based on when the light output decreases 30%.

 

Because LED lighting systems don’t radiate heat the way an incandescent or halogen light bulb does, the heat produced from the power going into the product must be drawn away from the LEDs. This is usually done with a heat sink, which is a passive device that absorbs the heat produced and dissipates it into the surrounding environment. This keeps LEDs from overheating and burning out. Thermal management is probably the single most important factor in the successful performance of an LED product over its lifetime because the higher the temperature at which the LEDs are operated, the more quickly the light will degrade, and the shorter the useful life will be.

 

Why choose LED?

 

There are many lighting choices available in the market today, more so than ever before.  It is important to focus on quality more so than the cost.  Low quality LED products will fade much quicker, decreasing the lighting quality.  It may be necessary to replace low quality LEDs more often, reducing the efficacy of the LEDs you have chosen.  We recommend that you do your research on the LED products that you use, before making the switch.  

 

Once you have ensured the quality of your LED lights it is important to consider many aspects of what you need your lighting to do for you.  At home, this isn’t necessarily a top priority, but if you are retrofitting the lighting in your business, how you conduct business will play a huge role in choosing the right LEDs that will meet all of your needs and expectations.  When you choose Lights There to help you retrofit your business with LED lighting applications, know that we take your needs very seriously, and design a lighting solutions that meets your requirements.  When presenting our clients with LED lighting solutions we provide the following:

  • Color Quality

    • 6 different requirements for color to ensure quality up front and over time

  • Light Output

    • Light output minimums to ensure you get enough light

    • Light distribution requirements to ensure the light goes where you need it

    • Guidelines for equivalency claims to take the guesswork out of replacement

  • Peace of mind

    • Verified compliance with more than 20 separate industry standards and procedures

    • Long term testing to back up lifetime claims

    • Testing to stress the products in operating environments similar to how you will use the product in your home

    • 3 year minimum warranty requirement

 

Why choose Lights-There for your LED lights?

 

Now that you have made the decision to switch over to LED lighting, it is important that you move forward with a company that you can trust.  We aren't talking about replacing some light bulbs.  We are talking about presenting an entire retrofit into LED lighting, which requires many design elements.  Our experts at Lights There offer more than 30 years experience in the lighting industry.  We have vetted all of our equipment, to ensure that it meets our high standards in quality and longevity.  We have an entire department which focuses their time in making sure that you receive the most out of your utility rebate incentive.  We even offer easy financing, with our Positive Cash Flow finance plans.  

 

Lights There is here to provide you with the best possible LED lighting solution.  We are a locally owned, LED lighting company, based in Portland, Oregon.  For more information, contact our friendly staff today! (503) 832-0933

 

 

 

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